A state of emergency over spiraling levels of homelessness was declared in Los Angeles on Monday as the new mayor pledged a “seismic shift” for one of the most intractable problems in America’s second biggest city.
Tens of thousands of people sleep rough on Los Angeles streets every night, in an epidemic that shocks many visitors to one of the wealthiest urban areas on the planet.
Mental health problems and substance abuse issues are rife among the population, whose tents and rusting RVs scar the city.
Mayor Karen Bass, who was sworn into office Sunday, used her first full day in the job to declare a state of emergency.
“I will not accept a homelessness crisis that afflicts more than 40,000 individuals and affects every one of us,” she said.
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